tv Real Money With Ali Velshi Al Jazeera February 16, 2014 2:30pm-3:01pm EST
milo, and he's hopeful about the future. he feels his family is with him always now, and one day, he says he just might be happy again. yellen. we will decode her message on the economy and how much is too much for the boss to know about your private medical information? don't look for a doctor. let the doctor look for you and bid on your next procedure. we will show you how. i am david shuster in for ali velshi. this is "real money."
this is "real money." you are the most important part of the show. join the life conversations on twitter@ajrealmoney. this was a huge week on capitol hill where decisions and discussions that affect the economy and your money again took center stage. congress voted to increase the debt limit and extend the borrowing authority of the united states government to march 2015. lawmakers pushed through the legislation ahead of a nasty winter storm that ended up shutting down washington, d.c. failure to act, though, would have brought our economy to a grinding halt if the united states started to default on its debt obligations. so this may be the do-nothing congress at least on raising the debt seal, washington dysfunction did not get in the way. america's economy and your prosperity are better for it. america's economy was very much on the mind this week of janet yellen, the president's nominee to be the chair of the federal reserve. she was plain spoken and easier
to follow than past fed chairs. for homeowners and buyers out there worried about rising mortgage rates, she said the fed would keep interest rates low for now to help boost the economy. for investors out there she said don't worry too much about the voluatility in the rock market -- stockmarket. >> helped fuel a rally in stocks. on jobs, yellen acknowledged the difficulties many americans still face. she told lawmakers, quote, the recovery in the labor market is far from complete. ali velshi spoke with austin goolsbee under president obama. he asked what the key message was from the new fed chair, particularly about jobs. take a listen. >> you know, i think she was pretty clear, i should say at the outset, i am an old friend of janets. i think she is a fabulous pick. i come from a point of by as in some sense. but i thought she was very clear
of what her world view is, and in most ways, that really wasn't a surprise. everybody -- she said basically what everybody thought she was going to say which is she views the rise of the long-term unemployed, of people dropping out of the labor force, the issues associated with the labor market as the most important problem facing the economy and that the fed is going to keep that in mind and that they are basically not going to be monkeying with things while that's still a problem. i think that was expected but she made that explicit. >> she didn't break too far from what bernanke says except she was easier to understand. >> right. i think that's true. >> that's what i was about to say is the other main mention that she conveyed was, i have been sitting at that same fomc table for many many years. the san francisco fed, vice chair of the fed. don't be surprised i am telling you we are going to have continuity with what's been going on.
>> austin, the federal reserve, it has shown in the last five years the ability to step up and be the adult in the room when congress wouldn't be. but in the end, when you look at our problems of income inequality, of people struggling to get into the middle class and in many indications, slipping back out of the middle class, this is -- this is policy that is more specific and granular direct. >> i agree with that. and to your credit, ali, you have been saying that long -- now, everybody is saying that, but you awere say that years ag before that ever became a major issue. i think you are absolutely right. the fed is doing what it should be doing. it's acting as an adult. it's trying to keep the economy going, but its tools are limited and crude and fiscal policy and just the private sector recovering on its own are far more influential, far more important than anything the fed is going to do. >> you spent time in the white house. obviously, these are intractable issues.
the jobs issue is the intractable issue of our time. you looked at this. you looked at the number of tun employed among youth. you looked at the number of people who had adequate education, where you can't argue that there is a skills gap, who weren't getting jobs. what is it that we can expect the government, if everybody were on their best behavior, to do that can actually stop this chasm growing between the rich and the poor in this country? >> you know, there are questions about what could it do right now in the short run and what could it do over the longer term? i think we all recognize that the things it can do over the longer term are far more influential and far more important than the things it can do in the next two weeks, could do in the next two weeks. in my view, the number 1 most important thing you could do is invest in the skills of the u.s. work force helping facilitate them getting more schooling, getting more training, investing in early education. and yet what we have seen come out of washington is the kind of
problem washington cannot deal with, is one in which the costs are in the here and now and recognizable and the benefits, even though they are really big, are to come in the future when somebody else is in. they bail just have not been able to confront those issues. >> i know you spent time in government but you are a thinker, and you must have given time to thinking years out, 10 or 15 or 20 years out that if we stay in this situation with middle and low income workers are not making advances in what they earn but those who have the ability to invest in the stockmarket or the housing market or other investments are able to multiply their income, draw me a picture of what this looks like in 10 or 15 years if seriously. >> well, i think my own pet theory is that the more unequal is the growth, the more likely you are to develop bubbles because when you have a small number of people getting a lion's share of assets, you tend
to see things like, i guess the museum s are noting that contemporary art prices are up 50% in one year because the kinds of people who are bidding on super-sized houses and super priced art and things like that, that sort of thing that's conducive to bubbles is not really a sustainable growth. in my view, broad-based growth is the only kind of growth that's sustainable. so, i worry about it. now, you can -- you can support expansions that are very unequal. we have had them in this country. you can have expansions that are more broad-based. i think the american mindset of how the economy works has for many, many years been that the median family, for the family right in the middle, does as well as the economy does. to go through expansions like we did in the 2000s where we are in a boom, what's supposed to be a
boom, but the average family's income is falling by $2,000, i kind of think that's just not the american economy that anybody is comfortable with. >> yeah. >> the picture looking forward would be one in which a very small number of people just become super, super rich and accumulate the assets and that it kind of morphs us into the bizarreo world of trickle down economics in which we say, the only hope we have to grow is that those 10 people who have all of the assets, let's hope year. . >> or decide to expand. otherwise, we've got nothing. i think that's a dangerous way. >> they are not always force to spend it. the richer you are, the left prerequisite there is that you spend your money. austin goolsbee? >> thank you for having me back. >> america producing crude oil at levels not see since disko was king. the cost of heating your home gives. how much is too much for your
boss to know about your medical history? we will tell you coming up. >> story and more as "real >> every sunday night, join us for excusive... revealing... and surprising talks, with the most interesting people of our time. hip hop pioneer russell simmons talks with soledad o'brien >> i make mistakes everyday, i don't try to count them... >> about his music.... >> the artist should say what's on people's minds. >> his cause... dominion over the animals does not mean abuse... >> and his future... >> i wanna make movies and tv shows that reflect the new america. >> russell simmons up close and personal... talk to al jazeera only on al jazeera
while you were asleep news was happening. >> here are the stories we're following. >> find out what happened and what to expect. >> international outrage. >> a day of political posturing. >> every morning from 5 to 9 am al jazeera america brings you more us and global news than any other american news channel. >> tell us exactly what is behind this story. >> from more sources around the world. >> the situation has intensified here at the border. >> start every morning, every day 5am to 9 eastern. >> with al jazeera america. crude oil closed out above the $100 mark. $100 and $0.30 is where light sweet crude
settled on friday. you can see from this chart, oil prices have been backing up to the $100 mark after dipping to $85 a barrel last year. a 6 week-showed inventories pushing fell by nearly barrels. >> that's where oil contents are delivered. when supplies drop, you can future. atricia sabka has this report. >> united states oil production is racing toward volumes not seen since the 1970s. yet the price of benchmark u.s. crude is ceiling creeping up. >> could spell pain for consumers. one factor at play, persistent cold weather driving up demand for heating oil. >> frigid temperatures aren't supplies. >> we are seeing oil in storage down about four percentage points down from where it was a year ago and a big jump in exports.
all of these factors are driving the price upward. >> the opening of the southern half of the keystone pipeline last month is drawing down the glut of oil in the middle of the country. sending it down to the gulf coast where it can be refined and exported to other countries. >> oil is a global commodity produced. >> means u.s. consumers have to compete for u.s. oil and refined products like gasoline with consumers from other countries. >> in november, the u.s. exported 4 million barrels of oil per day, refined products. twice as high as the level we recorded in 2009. >> venzuela is a major oil producer but its crumbling energy infrastructure can't keep pace with regional demands, leaving u.s. refineries to pick up slack. with tougher refinery standards kicking in this spring and europe exporting less to the northeast united states. oil inventories may look slim as approaches.
>> all are conspiring to likely cause the green market to be very tight in the united states this summer. i strongly suspect prices will exceed $4 a gallon at some point this year. >> al jazeera new york. >> the price of energy and the impact of winter weather and drought are all pieces of the puzzle for anyone trying to figure out where the economy is heading. there are a few people better at putting those pieces together than mark zandi at moody's's analystics. ali velshi asked if the weather has a significant economy. >> a significant impact. it's been brutally cold since early december. we have had a series of storms gone through the south and northeast. as you mentioned, we have drought in california. so, i think all of those things have conspired to make this a very difficult for the economy and a significant weight on growth. it's not the only thing weighing on growth. it's a big factor at least the last couple of months.
>> the part where it starts to get alarming, we saw natural gas prices which many people in this country use to heat their homes and natural gas is used to create energy, electricity. now we have seen oil prices spike in the northeast people use oil in many indications to heat their homes and, of course, for gas. what's the impact of the increase in energy demand and energy prices on the economy? >> excellent point. you know, i think because of the run-up in natural gas prices, propane prices, i lost electricity for five days. i have a generator. i had to use propane. i can tell you it's incredibly expensive. if i have to pay a propane bill, it means i have less to spend on everything else. and now, oil prices are up. >> that's going to have an impact as well. so this run-up in energy prices, again, related to the weather, is suck something wind out of the economy. these things will be temporary. i don't think they will last long. i think we will get back on track once the weather returns
to something more typical normal. for the meantime, it's a weight on growth. 2013 for job creation. heavily weighted toward the back half of the year. that's not bad. 194 ,000. december with 75,000, january with 113,000. any sense about whether had an impact on those or not? >> a lot of debate, not much about december. that was pretty clear there was weather. more debate about january. it had arrest impact because it affected businesses more broadly. sales and revenues are down and retail -- retail you can see clearly. it's again so disruptive basic human resource functions have been disrupted, interview
process, hiring start dates, those kind of things. >> affects the data as well. so in my view, both december and january, the weak numbers were largely related to weather. nothing fundamental has changed. we were creating jobs last year. i think there will be this year. no change fundamentally. it's temporarily due to weather. >> i have seen some estimates that say this weather is costing the economy $5,000,000,000 overall. and i don't know if that's a lot or a little. but when you think about the planes cancelled or construction isn't getting done. how much of that is made up for later? i am asking you in the context of when there is a hurricane or tornado, you make that up because you rebuild stuff. after weather, is it same sort of thing? >> you get most of it back. people don't go out and shop like they normally would. they don't buy the clothes, the car, they stop looking for a home. they don't buy a home.
they will do that once the weather returns to something more typical and normal. i think we will get most of it back. we won't get the airplane flights that got cancelled. you can't make that up. hotels that have people that aren't showing up, some restaurants will never make it back. in general, i think, you know, we will get most of this economic activity. it actually will probably make the spring months, you know, once we get into april, may, june look stronger than the reality of things because a lot of that will be bounce back from the depressed conditions existing now. >> mark pleased to have your analysis mark starchedi is the chief zandi is the chief. analyst. >> chocolate is popular. if you think the price is steep, wait. emer emerging markets where customers are getting we thinkier. the international coco organization says formers around the world are struggling to up.
as a result, the price of cocoa has gone up 9%. analysts predict chocolate prices will rise for years to come. remember, you can always buy less. counts. >> most of us find a doctor through the insurance company, but now, there is a new way to look for one, and it could turn the entire healthcare system on its ear. >> determine exactly how much money i was going to spend on this visit, and how much i would have left if i needed to go further for the testing done. >> we will show you how this new system is saving money and empowering patients coming up.
consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete? real perspective, consider this on al jazeera america al jazeera america. we open up your world. >> here on america tonight, an opportunity for all of america to be heard. >> our shows explore the issues that shape our lives. >> new questions are raised about the american intervention. >> from unexpected viewpoints to live changing innovations, dollars and cents to powerful
storytelling. >> we are at a tipping point in america's history! >> al jazeera america. there's more to it. aspass. a crew violation, how one mother described aol's conference call gaffe where he said two cosley premature votes. jaw-dropping incensetiveness, his disclosure of his employees' health matters raised serious concerns. what is your employer entitled health. pat trisha sabka.
>> this remark by aol tim armstrong has employees paver where asking: exactly how much of my private medical information is my employer allowed to see? >> there is a very thin vail between what an employer knows about it's employees health and right to medical. >> under the portability and accountability act. companies can see your information but there are limits. only a handful of trained staff such as hr are allowed to see your details. there must be a firewall to keep the rest of the firm like your boss from seeing your personal information. if information is shared outside the firewall, data that could identify individual employees must be deleted. >> is it good in theory? but challenging to implement. >> companies are not supposed to use your personal medical information for job-related
purposes such as firing you. but if you're determined to keep your personal health information private, you had better have deep pockets. >> where we can demand that the healthcare provider not send any information about us on to the health plan or the insurer or the employer. but the trick is, you have to treatment. >> patricia sabka, al jazeera new york. >> pam dixon told us many of the complaints they receive at the world prime's privacy forum concern health and wellness plan. under the affordable care act it's legal for employers to tell workers to take place in a wellness program including those that help them quit smoking. if they don't participate, they may face higher premiums. employers with monitor whether goals are met of the wellness programs from price line to ebay, everybody is transformed the way americans buy. up next, healthcare, now we are not talking about obamacare
insurance ex changes. we are talking about websites where you can comparison shop for doctors and procedures. in some cases, doctors even bid to provide you with medical care. while the arrangement is in its early stages, some experts say the trend could be a game changer when it comes to helping patients find care they can afford. stacy tisdale has the story. >> zac foster will be the first person to admit that he doesn't go to the doctor very often. when he wasn't feeling well a few months ago, he says a new website made finding affordable care act and a new doctor too easy to resist. >> it allowed me to determine exactly how much money that i was going to spend on this visit and how much i would have left, you know, if i needed to go further and get some further testing done. >> he is one of a growing number of patients who are turning to about a half a dozen online market places to shop around for healthcare. robb and gel verdict, the president of fairhealth said these sites are shifting the
costs. >> the train has left the station on cost tran parents. we are entering a new paradigm where consumers are asking questions about costs and providers are thinking of different vehicles by which they can provide that information to the cogassumer. >> there are few different models for these healthcare marketplaces. snaphealth used by more than 20,000 doctors works like an ecommerce site for $5 a month, $35 for a yearme membership, you get to go online, shop for the service or type of doctor you are looking for and compare prices. once you have found your match, you pay out-of-pocket right there on the website. your insurance company does not come into play at all. >> doctor orey ample, a urologist in pasadena, texas says the direct payment model cuts out at least 50% of his overhead by reducing paperwork and insurance costs. >> this frees up my staff to actually help the patients. this frees me up to take care of paperwork. >> doctor david wong, the crater
of snaphealth says physicians like hample and the other 20,000 healthcare providers who use the site are carefully vetted and procedures. >> we verify their credentials through the state medical licensing board, make sure they don't have a malpractice history. we are never going to tell you if you think you are having a around. >> others include medibid where doctors square off in an auction bidding process. patients type in the procedure they want and doctors submit bids. when the patient finds the right deal, they hit the bid, make a payment and it's done. a site called pocketdoc works like a matching service. you put in the service or procedure you are looking for. they find a doctor near you. >> we are living really in a laboratory, if you will, in realtime. so there is going to be a lot of different models that are going to be tried. some will have staying power. some will not. >> gilbert as consumers should tread cable as we find footing in this brave new world.
>> they see costs for a particular procedure, for example, a colonoscopy they should look if they are looking at the gastroenterologist fee or the fee potentially of a anesthesiologist. >> e-commerce, match can and auction style medical sites are not just changing the healthcare game for consumers and doctors. they are also changing the game for employers. some like zach are beginning to offer these services as part of their healthcare coverage forcing insurance companies to be upfront about costs. >> so fari riden, vice president of zach's company says snaphealth allows her to know what she will spend on healthcare before services provided? >> they could never tell us how much it would be before we go, you know, before i send an employee to a particular hospital for a particular visit or a provider. >> as for zac, he says the medical care he found through life-changing? >> i was able to incorporate that advice into kind of my
daily life. >> the peace of mind that comes with a clean bill of health. york. >> the head of snaphealth says it's too early to tell what effect obamacare will have on his business but he is betting the law will help as more get insured. he believes those with high deductible plans can benefit from comparison shopping. many of us have had the unique experience of dealing with a cable company. i saynique because in my case, i can't remember any other business that forced me to block off an entire day just to make changes and made me so angry with how they handled it. the fact is, cable companies are not orous for awful customer service. last year, according to the american customer satisfaction index, time warner cable was the worst. the next worse, comcast. in other words, these are the two worst companies for customer service in an industry that already ranks near the bottom. mergers are not always very easy for companies and the impact on
customers can be huge. a business week study of 28 mergers found customer satisfaction ratings dropped significantly for merged companies and that the ratings stayed low for years. now, it's possible that comcast and time warner will provide better customer service together than either company has provided individually. both companies have a very strong incentive to improve things given the long-term trend of customers dropping cable subscriptions in favor of other alternatives but as time warner cable and comcast executives are aware, company employees from the ceo down to the cable guy them. >> that's our show for today. i am david shuster in for ali